Each time something in the game tries to inflict damage, the damage itself will have a specific type. These types determine whether the damage will be reduced by a target's armor or resistance stat. In addition to that, many units have a special resistance or/and weakness to specific damage types, manipulating the damage dealt even further. When an attack causes a critical hit or deathblow, it will perform a special effect. This too is dependent on the damage type dealt.
Physical Damage TypesEdit
These attack type are reduced by a target's Armour stat.
On Critical Hit - Ignore Armour. Piercing attacks ignore all armor on the target when working out the damage amount to deal.
Crushing (or bludgeoning) attacks are dealt from weapons like clubs, rocks, hammers and even fists. Crushing attacks aren't all that common, but most races have access to at least one of them through the use of Siege Weapons.
On Critical Hit - Stun: Targets that suffer a critical stun have their combat stat reduced to 1. In versions 1.03.21+, their combat is still reduced but not always to 1. Within every 5 points of combat the unit had beyond 10, their combat after being stunned is spared by a single point. So a unit with combat 10-15 will be reduced to 2, not 1. If the unit had 25 combat before being stunned, it'll become 4.
On Critical Hit - Cleave: Deals damage to all units around the attacker. Note that due to a bug, the game doesn't check vertical distance between units - allowing ground attacking units to also hit flying units. Moreover, as for the Axe Thrower, a ranged Minotaur unit, the cleave critical effect occurs at the thrower's position, not his target's.
Elemental Damage TypesEdit
These attacks are reduced by a target's Resistance stat.
On Critical Hit - Burn: Sets the target on fire, dealing 2 points of damage per second over a long period of time and causing the unit to run around when left idle.
Cold is a new attack type for the Warlords Battlecry series and a rare attack type at that, usually seen in the form of projectiles from spellcasters.
On Critical Hit - Freeze: The target's attack speed and movement speed are reduced for a short while.
On Critical Hit - Mana Drain: Electric attacks that cause a critical hit against a spellcaster will drain their Mana by 40 points. It has no critical effect against other units.
On Critical Hit - None.
Special Weakness / ResistanceEdit
Many units possess a Special Weakness or/and Special Resistance to certain damage types, reducing or increasing the damage further. This calculation is performed after the combat stage but before the damage has been modified by Armor or Resistance. If a unit has a Special Weakness, the damage type it matches will be increased by 50%. If a unit has a Special Resistance, the damage will be reduced by 50% (halved). Special Resistance and Special Weakness are cumulative, so if a unit had a Special Weakness AND Special Resistance to the same damage type, the damage would first be increased by 50% (reaching 150%) then the new damage amount would be halved (dropping down to 75%) giving the unit a unique Special Resistance of -25%. Only some Guardian Skulls and Turtles found on a few selective maps of the campaign can be seen with both a Special Weakness and Special Resistance to the same damage type (piercing).
It's only through the use of Special Resistance that a non-Hero unit can have any form of protection against Magic typed damage.
Buildings also have Special Weaknesses / Resistances entry, with every building in the game having a Special Weakness to Fire and Special Resistance to Piercing / Slashing.
- Fire Dragons, Frost Dragons and Storm Dragons always perform a critical effect with their breath attacks, despite not actually causing a critical hit.
- Magic attacks do not cause critical effects but at one stage were planned to cause "Critical Dispel". This would have removed any spell effects the target had in play at the time of suffering the critical hit.